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Flipkart to do a Myntra; may go app-only from September

FlipkartCome September, India’s largest e-commerce major Flipkart may adopt an app-only approach by phasing out its web presence.

The move comes barely two months after Flipkart-owned fashion e-tailer Myntra morphed into an app only player.

The development was first reported by The Times of India, which said that Flipkart’s chief product officer Punit Soni had articulated this shift in strategy to employees at a town hall meeting last week.

A Flipkart spokesperson did not deny the development.

“India is gradually transitioning from a mobile first to a mobile only country. At Flipkart, we have been following a mobile first approach and 70-75 per cent of our total traffic is already coming from our mobile app. We are constantly experimenting with various aspects of our service to create the best shopping experience for our users on our app. Meanwhile, we continue to offer both desktop as well as mobile option for our customers,” the spokesperson said.

Flipkart has 45 million registered users. The company aims to more than double the gross merchandise value (GMV) on its platform to $8 billion this year. Flipkart, which is backed by Tiger Global Management, Accel Partners and others, raised $2 billion in 2014-15. The company was valued at $11 billion in the last round of funding.

Flipkart’s competitor Snapdeal recently said that it will continue with mobile and desktop versions for the time being.

“There might come a time when mobile becomes a platform of choice but we are not there yet. Till then, our focus would be to support users across platforms of their preference,” Snapdeal chief product officer Anand Chandrasekaran told Techcircle in a recent interview.

In May, Myntra had decided to go app-only by killing its website, a move that evinced mixed reactions from industry watchers. Most e-commerce companies said that it is too early to adopt the app-only route in India. A recent The Economic Times news report suggested that Myntra has seen a 10 per cent decline in sales following the move. Myntra officials refute these figures.

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